With 30,000 users in more than 100 sites, IT plays a fundamental role in the smooth running of the Royal Navy. Although worldwide hardware break-fix support is outsourced, the front line helpdesk is run by the Director of Fleet Operations centred in Bath. It uses Remedy's Action Request (AR) for helpdesk.
Since early 1998, the helpdesk has fielded software-related problems from the 2,000 staff based at Bath. The desk now acts as the primary contact for all internal software problems, from password errors to application usage.
"Calls are logged and then either solved at the desk or passed on to the appropriate support team," said Paul Watson, IT service manager for the Navy's communications information systems.
Regardless of the IT problem, all users call into a single telephone number as part of a move towards improving support efficiency.
However, the Navy's legacy system was too cumbersome and inflexible too be efficient. "Even changing the screen layout required the services of our software reseller. The product was too restrictive - we had to move," said Watson.
While the lack of flexibility was identified as the key driver for change, Watson wanted to make radical changes to business practice. "We have traditionally waited for a problem to occur and then solve it. Our goal is to turn that approach on its head," he said.
A key technology requirement was integration with existing telephony and systems management systems.
The system had to integrate directly with new telephony which the Navy had decided to implement.
"The integration capability was crucial to us. Between initially assessing products and making a decision, we added the role of software support, which in turn meant upgrading our telephone system. The ability to plug in Remedy's Action Request system to the new telephony was a big advantage," said Watson.
The first phase of the project delivered the technology to enable the support team to adapt their business processes and enhance internal procedures and so benefit from reports as aides to forward planning efficiency.
The Navy intends using AR Web to provide users with their own problem logging screens, so that call volumes on critical issues can be lifted.
Overall, the Navy estimates it has been able to improve the call handling rate by 20%.
The next phase of the project will introduce finance department integration from using the Asset module to track fixed assets.
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